How to Spend It: Pedaling pleasure

Appleman Bicycles applies engineering excellence to two-wheeled travel

By Mike Miller

As another Minnesota winter melts away, cycling kicks into high gear. But is your high-precision ride precise enough? If not, get on the waiting list for an Appleman bicycle.

For $8,000 to $12,000, you get a mount that's made of carbon fiber and custom-built for your body and riding style. "If you want the best bike money can buy, I can provide that," says Matt Appleman, who has an education in composite material engineering from Winona State.

Carbon fiber absorbs vibrations differently than steel or aluminum and allows Appleman's cycles to weigh just 12 pounds. Even the logos are made of the stuff.

During your initial consultations, Appleman, who's been crafting bikes for about three years now, will take your body measurements and ask about your riding style. "A lot of people enjoy the relationship, where they actually get to call me and talk to me, and we get to hash [it] out," he says.

Appleman crafts his masterpieces in a small shop he shares with other cycling ventures in, fittingly, Minneapolis  the nation's top city for cycling, according to Bicycle magazine. And he's particular about the materials he uses, sourcing carbon fiber tubing from Clearwater Composites in Duluth, for example.

Expect a three- to five-month wait for your dream machine to materialize.